Phase Two came to an end on June 1, 2019 as our 16 partner congregations presented their project proposals. We transitioned into Phase Three over the summer of 2019. Our partner congregations will now spend two years experimenting with new practices and forms of ministry with young adults. This will be a time of continued learning, trial and error, adapting, trying, retrying, frustration, celebration, and growth.
We have shifted from using our Innovation Coaches to support these congregations to a learning cohort model. Each partner congregation will be in a learning cohort with other congregations attempting similar work. They will gather for regular reflection on what they are learning and what growing edges are emerging for them. The Riverside Innovation Hub will support this work by remaining in close conversation with these learning cohorts and leveraging the resources these cohorts need to move through the growing edges they are encountering.
This work will be less like building a program and more like tending a garden. It will be slow and patient work. Noticing what is taking root. Learning whether the bugs in the garden are harmful or helpful. Wondering if we overwatered or underwatered. Being surprised by the fragrance and shapes of what grows. These things don’t look the way they do in the grocery store! If our congregations will be successful in their movement into the public square with young people, and if we are successful in supporting them in this work it will have only happened out of slow, patient listening and wondering and responding to what God’s spirit is already doing with and without us.